‘I always do it before Badminton’: eventer who broke back faces race to be fit

  • An eventer who fractured a vertebra and broke 10 ribs in a hunting fall is battling to be fit in time to compete at Badminton.

    Serena McGregor was out with the Pytchley on Wednesday (17 January) when her horse slipped and fell on landing.

    “I was still on him as he was sliding along the ground and I just plopped off the side; it was a soft fall,” she told H&H.

    “But as we were getting up, he double-barrelled and kicked my back, which is what did the damage.

    “I was trying to be positive and think it was just bruising – but it is pretty painful.”

    Serena, who also suffered a punctured lung, spoke to H&H from hospital today (19 January) but is hoping to be allowed home soon wearing a brace.

    “It’s like a body protector,” she said. “I don’t think they’re going to do anything about any of the breaks. They’ve been X-raying to see if they need to pin the vertebra, and the ribs, as I broke quite a few in two places, but I don’t think they’re going to.

    “They’re going to take the drain out of my lung today, then try to fit me with the brace, to keep everything still, and then I should be able to go home.”

    The brace means Serena will be able to move about so she should not lose as much fitness as if she was confined to a chair, but she is still unsure as to whether she will be fit enough to take her 13-year-old Lux Z gelding Parc Diamond Lux to Badminton (2-6 May).

    “The doctors say six to eight weeks until I can ride, so that should be mid-March but of course I won’t have done anything; it’ll be my fitness that’s the issue.

    “I just can’t believe it. In 2005, I was going to take Two Tone Tyrone to Badminton but broke both arms in a fall and missed out – I haven’t had that many falls but always seem to do it before Badminton!

    “I’ll just have to see what happens; I won’t rush it.”

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